Team Hall & Nass First Impressions of the 2011 Buick Regal
Team Hall & Nass recently attended not one, but two Buick events – the Buick Remix and the Buick Regal Drive Away. The Buick Remix event was held for members of the Texas automotive media to get an up close and personal look at the rebirth of an American icon, the Buick Regal, before the rest of the public gets a chance. The Buick Regal Drive Away event, however, was held for Texas Buick dealers and a very select group of extremely lucky Texas automotive media. It was part introduction of the Regal to each dealer, part parade of cars to celebrate the rebirth of the Regal, and part official hand-off delivery of one new 2011 Buick Regal to every Buick dealer in Texas by GM. Basically, 50 Buick Regals took over a Texas highway as the police (or Hamthrax as we like to call them) cleared the way for us. As an added bonus, yours truly from Team Hall & Nass lead the charge behind the wheel of a black Buick Regal, designated as car #1. Yes, we quickly dubbed our Buick Regal “Back in Black.”
At both events, we got a little crazy with the camera. At the Remix event, alongside of our good friends Amber Walters (@AmberWawas on Twitter) and Nick Malone from Burnout Radio (@BurnoutRadio on Twitter), we managed to climb inside of a brand new 2011 Buick Regal sedan, as well as the highly anticipated, upcoming Buick Regal GS. We spent a good deal of time looking the cars over (including searching for any hidden or misplaced keys so we could drive away in one) and managed to shoot two video first impression reviews (albeit slightly impacted by a bit of foolishness from the effects of the event’s generously open bar). Be sure to check out our 2011 Buick Regal 1st Impression Summary video, and our further reaching (and comedy-filled) 2011 Buick Regal 1st Impressions video, featuring special guests Amber and Nick, on our YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass channel.
However, at the Buick Regal Drive Away event, we managed to not only get behind the wheel of a 2011 Regal and drive it in the rolling display parade, but we also managed to go a bit rogue and put it though some Team Hall & Nass real world driving paces. What transpired once we broke away from the pack was NOT what the rest of the Buick dealers and journalists on hand got to do. Yes, a bit of on camera hoonage ensued (more on that below).
So, without further adieu, we hope you enjoy our impression of what life is like behind the wheel of the “quietest, smoothest, best new production sedan in the world for under 30 grand.”
Describing the 2011 Buick Regal Sedan
There are many words we could use to describe what the new Buick Regal is like, but we’ll start off with the attributes that jump out at us immediately. Clean, smooth, quiet, roomy, well built, luxurious, and downright sexy. Yes, sit down in one, close the doors and all of these words (and more) will likely surface in your mind before you even turn the key.
For those who desire a better, quieter, smoother mid-class sedan than the market previously offered, or for those who have longed to see Buick return to the former glory and respect they commanded on the roads long ago, the new Regal is the car for you.
We’d love to tell you all about the amazing interior of the car, the many creature comforts, the styling, the details, etc. Truth is, due to the nature of both events, we didn’t have a lot of time to examine everything. At Remix, we did go a bit deeper into some design elements of the Regal on camera (granted, sans keys to activate, try or use anything). However, at the Drive Away, all we had time to do was adjust the mirrors, the seats, the wheel, and drive. It has amazing ergonomics, is velvety smooth and feels A LOT more expensive than it is. We will be sure to take our time and explore all of the details to share with you when we do a full review on the car later this summer. After all, because this is a first impression piece, and since we are one of the few people in the US that have actually driven the new Regal to date, isn’t how it drives and handles what you really want to know about this car anyway? Yeah, we thought so.
Driving the 2011 Buick Regal Sedan
First things first. If you were a fan of the Regal back in 1986 and 1987 when it ruled the road and the local drag strip in all of its beautiful, black, 3.8 liter turbocharged V6 Grand National trim (and in the rare, Corvette-beating, pumped up GNX trim), then no doubt, you must be anticipating the release of the turbocharged GS model this fall. If you aren’t excited (yet), then go read up on Buick.com and get yourself ready. If the GS runs half as well as it looks, then Buick fans are in for a long-awaited treat (albeit in sedan form).
However, if you were once a fan of the classic Regal in its non-turbocharged form, then this car will transform all of your old memories in ways you can’t even imagine. We’ve driven many of the cars that are supposedly in its modern-day class (under 30 thousand dollar sedans). The Regal is heads and tails above all of them. In fact, it is quieter, smoother and just overall better on the road than most sedans in the upper 30 thousand dollar range. Sure, there may be others that are a bit quicker, but none do it with as much style, finesse or luxury. None do it with only 4 cylinders while getting 30 MPG, either.
Sadly, we didn’t get to test the Regal at extended highway driving and/or at higher speeds. We were, after all, supposed to be in formation as part of the parade of 50 Regals that took over the road two-by-two from downtown Fort Worth all the way to Grapevine, Texas. We did, however, manage to get a few miles of spirited twisty back road driving in (while still arriving safely in our spot at the head of the pack at the Main Street Days festival). Check out our 2011 Buick Regal First Drive video to witness how our rogue Regal Drive Away played out.
The Regal is quiet and smooth on the road, but it will get up and run surprisingly well for a vehicle of its size with a naturally aspirated four cylinder. It will also go through rough corners on uneven two lane blacktop while hugging the road at speeds much better than we anticipated. We tried not to over rev the engine while running it up through the gears from a standing start (since it did only have 38 miles on it when we started out AND since the dealer taking delivery was riding shotgun). That said, he encouraged us to hoon it a bit, so of course, we did. The Regal carries its speed well through the corners, brake fade (as tested) was fairly minimal, and the amazing part of all of this is how quietly it executed everything we did in it. The roads were not smooth anywhere we drove, but the Buick Regal was smooth everywhere on the road regardless of the surface.
As a first impression, I have to say what we saw and experienced in our brief time inside and behind the wheel of the 2011 Buick Regal was very impressive. It is the first under 30 thousand dollar sedan we’ve ever been this impressed with. No loose, cheap plastics on the door panels, no squeaks and rattles over the bumps, no ugly panel gaps, no poor fit and finish, and best of all, no gimmicks. The Buick Regal performed at a level that far exceeded our initial expectations.
Granted, given how we typically drive (even on a daily basis), the Regal is not what we’d call a performance vehicle by any stretch of the imagination. However, in all fairness, this model is not supposed to be. It is far better than any entry level luxury cruiser, yet is delivered at an economy value class price. We will reserve our judgment on true performance driving until after we spend some quality time behind the wheel of the upcoming turbocharged Regal GS. After that, we’ll declare whether or not the Buick Regal Grand National should still be longed for … or if it is truly a Back in Black sedan.
In summary, there are many things the Regal delivers in luxury, style and grace that no other sub-30 thousand dollar sedan on the market today can or does. Period. If the 2010 LaCrosse made the proclamation that Buick is back, then the new 2011 Regal drives the point home that this revived band of GM players is no one hit wonder. We believe Harley J. Earl would be proud.
“We’re SO Not Worthy … THANK YOU GM”
We’d like to publicly thank Vicki Cosgrove, Gloria Tostado, and everyone on the GM South Central US Team for inviting us to these two Buick events. Without their kind, good faith invitation, we wouldn’t be able to bring you, the wonderful fans and followers of Team Hall & Nass, this incredible tale to enjoy. We’d also like to thank Matt Fisher, Internet Sales Manager at John Crow Buick GMC in Canton, Texas for not only allowing us to drive their new Regal, but encouraging our hoonage as well. Well done!
Team Hall & Nass Buick Regal Coverage
We hope y’all have enjoyed our Team Hall & Nass Buick Regal First Drive Impression coverage. Be sure to check out all three videos in our series on the 2011 Buick Regal on our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TeamHallnNass. Stay tuned later this summer as we get behind the wheel of the 2011 Buick Regal for a more extensive and through review, as well as the much anticipated turbocharged Buick Regal GS.
Due to new FTC guidelines, please note that GM did not pay us to write or film any of this, nor did they ask us to. (After reading this and/or watching our videos, they may even prefer that we hadn’t)! They simply provided food, drinks and access to their cars and, in turn, we had quite the “Regal” experience. We sincerely thank everyone at GM, Buick and GM South Central Region marketing who made this possible, and all of you, our amazing fans. We couldn’t do this without you. We love you all!
This blog entry has been approved by Pirate Pig, official mascot of Team Hall & Nass. Learn more about Pirate Pig at TeamHallnNass.com. Pirate Pig offers hamthrax protection for all, and would like to remind you, “IF YOU’VE JUST BEEN PASSED, THEN YOU’RE NOT HALL & NASS!” :@)~